Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ironing as Art

Ironing is an obvious metaphor; we’re smoothing life’s wrinkles only to have them eventually return again. You either love to iron or you hate it, it’s not often you find indifference.

The subject of ironing has not escaped notice by extraordinary painters, eluded the poetic pen, nor has it been ignored by my own sewing endeavors.


Young Woman Ironing by Louis-Léopold Boilly, 1800, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Les repasseuses (Women Ironing, also known as "The Laundresses") by Edgar Degas, 1884, Musée d'Orsay, Paris


Woman Ironing by Edgar Degas, circa 1887, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Ironing can be a dreaded chore or you can choose to make it a meaningful act, much as we can do with most things in life. I do believe there is beauty in housework.



I’ve decided to make ironing celebratory by bedecking the new ironing board cover I made with one of Degas’ paintings.



After sewing the cover from a deep red quilted fabric, I simply printed the artwork on fabric and attached it using fusible interfacing.



The pattern for the ironing board cover was part of a fantastic gift package from Sarah at Sassy Priscilla last week. This was a fun project!

16 comments:

Diana said...

That art is certainly an inspiration to iron. I grew up ironing pillow cases and even my dad's fatigues in the Air Force! My sister actually confessed last weekend that she adores ironing. Maybe if I get a Rowenta I'll feel the same way!

Ali said...

Just the sort of motivational post I needed June! As soon as the boys are in bed, I'm chaining myself to the board until the ironing pile is reduced drastically.

Rosie's Whimsy said...

What a great idea for your ironing board. I have the ugliest cover ever made :-( Perhaps there will be a new one by weekend's end :-) I love those paintings. I came across one of a lady sewing once by didn't jot down who it was by. I love those domestic scenes!

Kristie said...

Hate it, and put it off as long as possible. The only thing I hate more than ironing is watching my hubby iron; it's painful--he's terrible at it.

iSew said...

Great idea Junie. I'll have to add sassy ironing board cover to my list of things to do for myself. Maybe in the summer!

Pat said...

That is a beautiful ironig board cover, Junie!
I love ironing, and lucky that I do as my hubby still wears dress cotton shirts to work everyday that require ironing. I usually put the radio and listen to NPR or a talk show while I'm doing it and the task seems to take care of itself.

Miss Sassy said...

That turned out so great! I love it and wish I had one. LOL.

Rosemary said...

I try not to iron too much!!
If you have to, it's nice to have a pretty cover like you have.
Rosemary

Gumbo Lily said...

Love the "ironing art" and your idea to remake your ironing board cover. Smart!

Jody

Thimbleanna said...

Hahaha! What a super fun idea!

African Kelli said...

I never thought of ironing as a metaphor, but it is a great one. Who doesn't have a few wrinkles here or there they are either trying to smooth out or hide under a bulky sweater?

Carol said...

My friends and I just had this conversation last week and there were only 2 out of 6 that actually iron and like it. The rest of us either have money and have it done (not me) or look like a wrinkled mess most days (that'd be me).

Diane said...

June, this is just how I approach ironing. I often leave my ironing until I have a mountain of it, but it's so ritualistic and I feel so good afterwards. Lovely idea to add that work of art to _your_ work of art ironing board cover.

Diane
Alberta Postcards
Diane's Flickr photos

The Girl from Mozambique said...

I love ironing... I must say.. this is an interesting post.

calamitykim said...

I love to iron. I love the smell of it and the satisfaction of seeing those wrinkles disappear! I love you too, Junie Moon!

Uneekdolldesigns said...

What a fun blog to read! I really enjoyed it! (And I can't remember the last time I had to iron anything!)